The term Generation Z, or Gen-Z, is one of many that is used to refer to people born from about 1995 onwards. The children of both Baby Boomers and Millennials; they are beginning to make their workforce presence felt in the workplace.
Like all generational cohorts, there are characteristics that distinguish Gen-Z’s from other generations. Incidents like the London bombing attacks and the global recession have served to shape their characters in many ways. Having seen the economic turmoil through which their parents or older siblings lived, many Generation Z’s aspire to be independent with many Generation Z’s expecting to be self-employed at some stage. Already we are seeing this impacting the UK workforce considerably. Since the economic crash in 2008, according to the National Office for Statistics, self-employment has grown from 12% in 2008 to over 16% in 2016.
This entrepreneurial spirit is embedded in Gen-Z’s. They are familiar with utilising online tutorials and lessons to develop skills and are using auction sites and online markets to sell goods, products and services directly.
Employers and HR recruiters need to learn about the goals and aspirations of Gen-Z’s, as well as what makes them tick. For example, they rate financial rewards as more important than their counterpart Millennials do. They are also the first generation to have lived exclusively in a globalised world. Most them have never known the world without the Internet.
Subsequently, the majority spend at least one hour per day online, while more than half spending at least ten hours online each day. The Internet and technological advancements in the way we gather and digest information has clearly influenced the way Gen-Z employees collect data. Social media is of vital importance to them, both as research tools and ways to express or market themselves.
Their ability to attract followers on social media networks should be of interest to employers, as this can give business a huge marketing advantage. However, companies also need to shift their thinking about what makes an ideal candidate. The Gen-Z workforce is a powerful, media social-savvy generation who will impact and shape the political and economic future of the UK. Employers need to embrace this and offer a workplace that challenges, inspires and motivates a Gen-Z workforce if they want to get the best out of them.
With instant information at their fingertips, Gen-Z employees are less likely to store facts and figures in their memory. To the more experienced recruiter or hiring manager, this can come across as disinterest or laziness. Thinking this way is a mistake. As technology continues to develop it plays important roles in all aspects of modern living and the way employers run their businesses. Gen-Z employees disseminate information differently to their Millennial counterparts. Employers and HR recruiters need to be willing to embrace this change in ways of thinking so they can both attract and then get the best from tech-savvy Gen Z’s.
1. What changes have you seen in the workplace since 2008?
2. Has your business reacted to the Gen-Z generation?
This article was written by Steve Yardley, Associate Director at JGA Recruitment – the leading Payroll, HR & Reward Recruitment Specialists.
If you are looking for expert talent in the fields of Payroll, HR or Reward, then please reach out for a 15 minute ignition call and I would be delighted to discuss how we can help.
James Gray Associates Ltd
Payroll, HR & Reward Specialist Recruiters
Email: [email protected]
Tel: 01727 800 377
Credits & Sources:
1. Office for National Statistics: https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/articles/trendsinselfemploymentintheuk/2001to2015